Mustang Hoofprints: Feb. 28

Hello Mustang fans!

It was an exciting day on the campus of SMSU Wednesday as we welcomed President-Elect Dr. Connie Gores to the Mustang family. In the Conference Center Ballroom, she addressed a large crowd of faculty, staff and community members for the first time. Dr. Gores will assume her duties at SMSU beginning July 1.The SMSU Department of Athletics welcomes the newest member of the Mustang family, President-Elect Dr. Connie Gores.

Last week’s Gold Rush Raffle was a huge success! I would like to thank everyone who was in attendance last Friday night and for all the individuals who purchased a Gold Rush Raffle ticket this year. It becomes harder and harder to exceed the expectations of the previous year, but this year we did it. Our live and silent auctions topped last year’s mark with this year’s total reaching over $30,000. We had a number of other fundraising activities at the event which will add to our total. The Gold Rush Raffle committee set a goal of raising $50,000 at this year’s event, and I believe we will be close to hitting our goal.

I would like to thank the SMSU Department of Athletics staff for all their hard work in preparation for the Gold Rush Raffle and in working the event. The Gold Rush Raffle committee continues to come up with innovative ideas to help the Mustang Booster Club increase the dollars raised at this event. A huge thank you to all the committee members for their commitment to growing the event.

Congratulations to the five final reverse raffle ticket holders who included Marrisa Brody, Greg Devos, Janelle Fillipi, Pat Hagemeyer and Todd Vogl. Three of the five were in attendance and were brought up to the stage to decide whether they wanted to split the cash prize or have us draw another ticket out of the drum. For the first time, all five ticket holders elected to split the $5,000 grand prize. Congratulations to all our cash and apparel winners announced during the reverse raffle.

The Gold Rush Raffle is the mid-winter social event of the year and it is the people who participate in the planning and attend the event that make it the successful fund raising event it has become. Thank you to everyone who took part in the Gold Rush Raffle this year!

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This Week in Mustang Athletics:

The SMSU wrestling team (13-6 overall, 3-5 NSIC) will send three individuals to the NCAA DII National Wrestling Tournament hosted at the Birmingham Crossplex in Birmingham, Ala., including junior Justin Reinsma (133 pounds), junior Jacob Begin (165) and freshman Kyle Begin (174). Kyle Begin won the Super Regional 3 championship on Sunday, while Jacob Begin finished second and Reinsma finished in fourth place. Travis Peralta went 3-2 at 184 to earn a fifth-place finish in the Super Regional.

The opening round of the NCAA DII National Tournament will begin on March 8 at 11 a.m., followed by the second round championships and consolation rounds at 6 p.m. Action on March 9 begins at 10 a.m. with the championship semifinals, third-round consolation, consolation semifinals and the third-, fifth- and seventh-place matches. The championship finals begin at 6 p.m.

Justin Reinsma (25-7), who earned All-American honors last season after finishing in seventh place, opens the championship versus Cameron Throckmorton (20-3) from Shippensburg (Pa.). Jacob Begin (16-3), making his first national appearance, opens with Chris Watson (28-18) from Central Oklahoma. Kyle Begin (18-2) faces Ray Hall (14-11) from Colorado State-Pueblo in the opening round.

The SMSU men’s basketball team competed Wednesday night in the NSIC/Sanford Health Men’s Basketball Tournament against Minnesota State-Moorhead at Nemzek Hall in Moorhead. SMSU entered the tournament as the No. 5 seed in the NSIC South Division, while MSUM was the No. 4 seed in the NSIC North Division.

SMSU defeated MSUM 86-82 in overtime on Jan. 19 in Moorhead during the only meeting between the two teams this season. SMSU finished the regular season tied for seventh overall in the NSIC standings, while MSUM finished ninth overall.

The Dragons earned an 87-78 victory over the Mustangs Wednesday to advance to the second round of the NSIC?tournament.

The SMSU women’s basketball team received the No. 8 seed and traveled Wednesday to compete against the No. 1 seed St. Cloud State in the first round of the NSIC/ Sanford Health Tournament. The Huskies defeated the Mustangs 72-47 to advance to the second round.

The SMSU wheelchair basketball team is 13-13 overall and is scheduled to play at the National Intercollegiate Wheelchair Basketball Tournament played on March 7-10 in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

The SMSU women’s tennis team (0-3, 0-2) was idle this past week and will continue NSIC play March 1-2 against Northern State and St. Cloud State at Fitness Evolution in Sartell.

The SMSU baseball team (3-2) received a pinch-hit, two-run double from Jon Ellis in the bottom of the seventh to lift the Mustangs to an 8-7 come-from-behind victory over Concordia-St. Paul in Game 1 of a non-conference doubleheader Wednesday in the Metrodome. The second game was called due to time, a game Concordia-St. Paul was winning 3-1. SMSU will be back in action Tuesday in the Metrodome against Mayville State (N.D.) in a non-conference doubleheader.

The SMSU softball team (0-2) began the 2013 season Wednesday with a twinbill versus Minnesota-Duluth at the West St. Paul Dome. The Mustangs dropped Game 1 to Minnesota-Duluth (10-4 overall) 10-2 before losing Game 2 8-0. SMSU will return to action with 12 games at the Rebel Spring Games in Kissimmee, Fla., March 9-15

I would like to wish all of our Mustang teams the best of luck this weekend!

Go Mustangs!

This week no one was able to provide the correct answer to the last week’s Mustang Hoofprint’s Trivia Question: How many of our coaches competed as a student-athletes at a member institution of the NSIC? The SMSU Department of Athletics has 11 coaches who were student-athletes in the NSIC.